December 4, 2010

A New Christmas Wreath

Well, I've been battling a bad cold. It's terrible and it means that I have been very, very lazy and watching a lot of horrible movies in my spare time (and Sudoku, but at least that exercises my brain). I have however managed to complete one thing this week, a new and inexpensive wreath for my front door. It's a salt dough gingerbread man wreath.

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I made a batch of salt dough, rolled it out and used some cookie cutters to make the gingerbread men (if you can make sugar cookie, you can do this no problem). Here's the recipe that I used:

Salt Dough (basically this is homemade playdough)

1/2 cup of salt
3/4 cup water
2 cups flour

1. Mix ingredients together and knead into a ball. Don't worry about over-kneading this stuff, it will be a bit tougher than cookie dough and you may need to add a bit of extra water. It's done when it seems rollable.

I used food-dyed water in an attempt to make them brown-gingerbread like in colour. As you can see this didn't really work. I think the food dye reacted with the salt because it turned very pink after I threw the brown water in. I later read that strong coffee or tea is your best bet for dying the dough brown (use it instead of the water). Oh well.

After you cut out your dough, place it on a tray and bake at 200F for 4-5 hours. I flipped mine halfway through and then I let them sit in the oven overnight to let them dry out even further. After they were dry I used puff paint (fabric paint) to drawn on some "icing" and gumdrops. Again, I waited for it to dry then I coated all of the men in varnish (since I wanted to put the wreath outside and I'm hoping that it will last for a couple of years.

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I laid the cookies out in a circle then I used a hot glue gun to stick them together and tied them with a ribbon for hanging and more security.

I think it looks really home-made and homey. Perfect for Christmas (I'm the type that likes those popcorn and cranberry garland).

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